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Track Drive: 2011 Aston Martin Vantage N420


We got our first taste of Aston Martin's N cars back in 2007 with the introduction of the N400, a V-8 Vantage that was slightly modified for a more spirited driving experience. Aston Martin has done it again with the introduction of its new N420.

Starting with a standard V-8 Vantage, Aston Martin basically ticked all the sport goodies available, packaging them in the new N420. The 4.7-liter engine still puts out 420 horsepower (hence the name), but Aston's engineers added a special sport exhaust that gives the N420 a distinctive, intoxicating growl that surprisingly doesn't add any power. Top speed is still 180 mph and your sprint to 60 will happen in less than five seconds -- even quicker if you row your own gears. You can get the N420 with either Aston Martin's sportshift automated manual or a true six-speed manual gearbox. We highly recommend the manual, as the auto manual is still no match for a dual clutch. The optional sport suspension comes standard on the N420, adding revised springs, dampers and anti-roll bars that give the car a firmer, yet still compliant, ride.

 Other than a bit of carbon fiber here and there, the rest of the N420 package is strictly appearance. The N420 has an Iridium interior package with graphite instruments, a steering wheel covered in Alcantara or leather, and carbon fiber N420 sill plates. Seat inserts come in Alcantara for the coupe, and leather for either the coupe or roadster with custom track stitching as in the ASTON MARTIN V12 Vantage. Unfortunately, there is one option we don't get: the carbon fiber seats, which not only look good, but cut even more weight.

As for the exterior, there are much more noticeable enhancements, starting with the carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, and side strakes. The openings in the hood and side strakes are covered in black mesh. The 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels come with a diamond-turned, gloss black finish, while the tailpipes get graphite finishers.

(Source)


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